Using the service and spreading the word around is the best way to help right now. If you’d like to contribute to this project’s sustainability and can spare a little money, donations are more than welcome!
PayPal is far from ideal, so if monetary contributions become a thing I’ll set up a transparent organization (on OpenCollective, likely) so that you always know what your money is being used for.
Not a Product, Not a Business
This was created and is still developed as a hobby project, meaning that in here there’s a lot of perceived value in having fun, pacing myself, keeping things lean and sticking to my ideals.
Sustainability is a goal, profit isn’t. Traditional ads will never have a place here, which means there’s no incentive to making things inefficient: I want you to be able to find a recipe and get to cooking as quickly as possible, not keep you using this site for long just so that I can show you a lot of ads.
Autumn 2017, I decide to fix some of my bad habits and engage in cooking mostly low-carb meals daily and using r/progresspics and similar as the main motivation driver.
While the weight was going down, a series of frustrations with the status-quo of searching for recipes started building up: pervasive tracking, ads everywhere, excessive interactivity, subscription walls, rubbish generated content to drive traffic and slow data-heavy pages.
A year and 50+ kg (110 lbs) lost later, I found myself wanting to give back to the community, but unable to do so since sharing my success story via before/after pictures triggered too many concerns related to privacy and misuse (and self confidence, of course).
Meanwhile, I started writing a simple tool to help me manage the somewhat big list of recipe links I had collected over time: A plain-text file wasn’t good enough anymore, the existing websites offering a similar thing hadn’t improved on my gripes over time (quite the opposite, actually).
I quickly found myself writing scrapers for my favorite sites to make it easier to extract the recipes out of the wall of text that usually precedes the real content. After a few iterations of doing just that, things started clicking and I went from a small hand-crafted database of about 100 recipes to 10.000 recipes with little effort; A few more tweaks and forgetting the crawler running overnight left me with around 100.000 recipes.
And then things got interesting :-) Growing this to the current 1+M database size took more time than effort and I finally had something that I could do to keep me entertained for a while and give back to the community: a recipe search engine that doesn’t have all of those annoying things we all have to deal with in today’s web.
This project is a one-man show, but that’s not to say there hasn’t been help from tools and third parties: